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INDIGENOUS CINEMA: 30 Films Everyone Should See

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

In Canada, June 21 is NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY, dedicated to the missing children, families left behind, and survivors of residential schools.

Given recent discoveries (and likely more to come) at former residential schools across the country (and for me personally with four Métis children currently exploring their own history), it is as critical as ever to use this day and all the days that follow to learn, reconcile, repair, and build our shared future.

In that spirit, here are 30 important films by indigenous filmmakers that explore the history, experiences, pain, and hopes of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people in Canada:

  1. Angelique’s House (2018)

  2. Angry Inuk (2016)

  3. Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001)

  4. Ballad of Crowfoot, The (1968)

  5. Birth of a Family (2017)

  6. Christmas At Moose Factory (1971)

  7. Club Native (2008)

  8. Empire of Dirt (2013)

  9. Falls Around Her (2018)

  10. Fire Song (2015)

  11. First Peoples Cinema: 1,500 Nations, One Tradition (2012)

  12. Grizzlies, The (2018)

  13. Holy Angels (2017)

  14. Incident at Restigouche (1984)

  15. Indian Horse (2018)

  16. Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger (2019)

  17. Journals of Knud Rasmussen (2006)

  18. Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993)

  19. Mohawk Girls (TV, 2014-2016)

  20. Our People Will Be Healed (2017)

  21. Reel Injun (2009)

  22. Rhymes For Young Ghouls (2013)

  23. Sgaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife, 2018)

  24. This Is Why We Fight (2013)

  25. Trick or Treaty (2014)

  26. Tunnit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos (2010)

  27. We Were Children (2012)

  28. We Will Stand Up (2019)

  29. Where The Spirit Lives (1989)

  30. You Are On Indian Land (1969)

See Reel Canada's full indigenous film catalogue here.

To learn more about the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, click here.

Also, check out the University of Alberta's free Indigenous Canada course here.

To subscribe to WriterJump's newsletter and blog and get regular updates about future trainings, workshops, and industry events, click here.

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